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Taiwan Busts $3.2 Million Wildlife Trafficking Network

TAIPEI (October 28, 2017) — Raids led by officials from the Taipei District Public Prosecutors Office have uncovered caches of illegal wildlife products throughout Taiwan, including rhino horn and bear bile.

According to government officials on Thursday, a total of 21 packages of powdered rhino horn, 50 packages of bear bile powder, 124 packages of musk, and 18 pieces of suspected rhino, bull and antelope horns were seized from multiple locations.

Officials also confirmed that they are interrogating 12 individuals regarding the illegal wildlife products including the Honorary Chairman of the Taipei Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, Lien Chun-ying. Lien and his associates are alleged to have made about $3.2 million over the past three years through smuggling and illegal sale of wildlife products.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Lien used his trading company as a cover to smuggle wildlife products into Taiwan from mainland China. He is alleged to have run a secret supply chain via social media to sell products such as rhino horn to his customers, claiming to offer “lifesaving medicines.”

Patients and their families paid high prices for these products, and after discovering that they did not possess the promised medicinal effects, alerted officials to Lien’s operation. 

WildAid Taiwan strongly supports the government’s continuing efforts to protect endangered wildlife and urges the adoption of legislation to effectively ban the domestic trade of related products. Earlier this year, Taiwan actor/musician Jay Chou joined the fight with WildAid in a new campaign against rhino horn, shark fin, elephant ivory and other products that are decimating wildlife around the world. 

Jay Chou for WildAid: Say No to Rhino Horn from WildAid on Vimeo. PSA created in Mandarin and English 

 

WildAid's Global Illegal Wildlife Trade Seizure Map, 2015-2016. Have tips? Send them to communications@wildaid.org.